Driving Apache Traffic Server

Location: D135
Average rating: ****.
(4.20, 5 ratings)

Apache Traffic Server is a fast, scalable and feature rich HTTP proxy and caching server. Traffic Server was originally a commercial product from Inktomi corporation, and has been actively used inside Yahoo! for many years, as well as by many other large web sites. As of 2009, Traffic Server is an OpenSource project under the Apache umbrella, and is rapidly being developed and improved on by an active community.

This talk will explain the details behind the Traffic Server technology; What makes it fast? Why is it scalable? And how is it different compared to other HTTP proxy servers? We will discuss several use cases, and show how to configure and operate TS for common tasks. Being an HTTP proxy server and cache, there are many potential use cases, e.g.

  • Forward proxy, e.g. inside a corporate firewall
  • Reverse proxy, a.k.a. HTTP accelerator
  • Intelligent traffic and connection management
  • Layer 7 (HTTP) routing, e.g. URL hashing

Traffic Server is designed using a hybrid processing model, combining an event driven engine, with a multi-threaded process approach. This allows Traffic Server to scale on modern multi-core systems, taking advantge of available CPUs. Each thread (typically 2-3 per CPU) runs its own event driven state machine, which implies that each thread handles many client connections, i.e. an m-to-n model. Limiting the number of worker threads avoids the resource problems associated with thousands or tens of thousands of threads.

After introducing the technical details behind TS, we will discuss the common applications of a proxy and cache, when and why they would be applicable, and how to configure and use Apache Traffic Server effectively. Focusing on how to effectively use TS in a production environment, we’ll walk the audience through

  • Installation process
  • Configuration files
  • Operations and monitoring

The goal is to give a solid foundation of web proxying and caching, and why Apache Traffic Server is a serious contender in this space. We’ll analyze and understand the problem space, what tools TS provides, and how to use them.

Photo of Leif Hedstrom

Leif Hedstrom


Leif Hedstrom is a software engineer at Yahoo!, where he has designed and implemented several edge services actively used by many large sites, such as Y! News and Flickr. Lately he has pushed for Open Sourcing the HTTP proxy server used internally at Yahoo!, and since the fall of 2009, the Traffic Server project is now in the incubator stage with the Apache Software Foundation. Prior to Yahoo!, Leif has worked at several internet companies such as Netscape Communications and Infoseek Corporation.

Leif is an avid scuba diver, snowboarder, dog lover and family man. And of course, he’s a huge computer nerd.

Comments on this page are now closed.


Ben Reece
07/23/2010 3:46am PDT

Leif did a great job explaining what ATS is, possible applications, where it is in real-world use, where it is in development currently, and what’s coming up.

Very informative and a valuable 40 minutes.

Robert Morrison
07/22/2010 10:28am PDT

Great speaker and presentation. I will definitely be trying out Apache Traffic Server.

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